Young guns and familiar faces – Seymour ready to return to rugby

Young guns and familiar faces – Seymour ready to return to rugby

“I’m an old guy in a very young squad!”

After 142
appearances and 47 tries to date in a Glasgow jersey, Tommy Seymour could
easily refer to himself as one of the most experienced Warriors in the current
squad. With a career that includes 20 tries for Scotland and touring with the
2017 British and Irish Lions, observers might refer to the winger as one of the
most successful or established members of the playing group.

The man
himself, though? He’s happy “just calling it like it is”.

“For old
guys like myself, [the break] has actually been a nice change for the body,”
laughs Seymour.

“We’ve had a
bit more recovery time than we’d normally get. It’s obviously not been for the
ideal reason, because we’re all missing rugby. In terms of the small silver
linings you look for in a strange time like this, though, that’s probably one
of them.”

Now coming
to the end of his ninth season with the Warriors, it’s been a campaign unlike
any other in the history of the club – and indeed the sport – for Seymour and his
squad-mates. Yet the 32-year-old is excited by the prospect of returning to
action, and in particular by the potential of a couple of the ‘young guns’
preparing to make their mark on the Warrior Nation.

“It’s a very
different structure to anything the boys have ever really witnessed before, for
sure,” admitted Seymour.

“It’ll hopefully
be the longest anyone involved in rugby will ever have as a break away from the

“The squad
is in a really good place, though, and the young guys in the back three are
really exciting to work with. I’ve dealt with Rufus [McLean] and Ollie Smith
when they were involved with us last year, and Ollie Melville’s come in to the
academy this year. The age of them really brings it home about how much of an
age gap there is between them and myself!

“They’ve come
in and hit the ground running though – it’s really exciting to see them come
in, they haven’t missed a beat so far. I’ve spoken to Rufus and Ollie [Smith] a
bit over the last year or so, they’re both incredibly hard-working and humble
and they haven’t shied away from anything.

“They’ve got
a huge amount of talent and the future is definitely bright for this club with
them in the ranks in the back three.”

It’ll also
be a significantly different coaching team that sits in the coaching box for
next week’s return to rugby, with only Kenny Murray remaining from the coaching
team that started 2019/20. The changes, however, have reunited Seymour with a
familiar face from earlier in his career, and one with whom he’s relishing the
opportunity to unlock opposition defences.

“Jonny [Bell]
was just starting his coaching career when I was involved at Ulster at the
start of my pro career, so we worked together first at an academy level and
then doing some 7s stuff,” he explained.

“We actually
both travelled over to Cartha Queen’s Park for a 7s tournament under an Ulster
badge back in the day, so we go back a fair bit!

“He’s a
great individual to have around, and I’m really excited to have him on board –
I knew the guys would take to him really well. He’s already brought a lot of
energy and enthusiasm to the role, and having an individual I already have a
rapport with is a really great benefit to have.

coaching group as a whole look like they’re gelling really well already. It’s
obviously a difficult time for them as well, but everyone’s working really well
under the new regime and they’re doing a great job.”

The first outing
for the new regime sees the most familiar of foes provide the opposition a week
on Saturday, as Danny Wilson leads his new squad to BT Murrayfield to take on

It’s a
prospect that excites not only Seymour, but everyone associated with Glasgow
rugby as the countdown ticks ever closer to kick-off and the return of live rugby
to Scottish soil.

“It’s really
exciting to think that next week is game week,” said Seymour.

“We’ve got
two huge fixtures to come back to – they don’t come much bigger than derby
games. It’s a bit of normality too, both for us and for the fans cheering us on
from their sofas.

“That’s what
we’re all looking forward to, and we can’t wait to get out and play the guys
from down the road next weekend.”

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